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Member since: Fri Apr 4, 2014, 04:21 PM
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Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology

In tumultuous political times, the 18-30 demographic is reaching for the stars.

Source: MarketWatch, by Kari Paul


Interest in spirituality has been booming in recent years while interest in religion plummets, especially among millennials. The majority of Americans now believe it is not necessary to believe in God to have good morals, a study from Pew Research Center released Wednesday found. The percentage of people between the ages of 18 and 29 who “never doubt existence of God” fell from 81% in 2007 to 67% in 2012.

Meanwhile, more than half of young adults in the U.S. believe astrology is a science compared to less than 8% of the Chinese public. The psychic services industry — which includes astrology, aura reading, mediumship, tarot-card reading and palmistry, among other metaphysical services — grew 2% between 2011 and 2016. It is now worth $2 billion annually, according to industry analysis firm IBIS World.

Melissa Jayne, owner of Brooklyn-based “metaphysical boutique” Catland, said she has seen a major uptick in interest in the occult in the past five years, especially among New Yorkers in their 20s. The store offers workshops like “Witchcraft 101,” “Astrology 101,” and a “Spirit Seance.”

“Whether it be spell-casting, tarot, astrology, meditation and trance, or herbalism, these traditions offer tangible ways for people to enact change in their lives,” she said. “For a generation that grew up in a world of big industry, environmental destruction, large and oppressive governments, and toxic social structures, all of which seem too big to change, this can be incredibly attractive.”

Like the existence of God, however, there’s no actual scientific proof. Astrology has been debunked by numerous academic studies, but Banu Guler, co-founder of artificial intelligence powered astrology app Co—Star said the lack of structure in the field is exactly what drives young, educated professionals to invest their time and money in the practice.

“It’s very different from the way we usually work and live and date, where everything is hyper-mediated and rational,” she said. “There is a belief vacuum: we go from work to a bar to dinner and a date, with no semblance of meaning. Astrology is a way out of it, a way of putting yourself in the context of thousands of years of history and the universe.”


Read it all at: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-millennials-are-ditching-religion-for-witchcraft-and-astrology-2017-10-20


Lupita Nyong'o: Speaking Out About Harvey Weinstein

It's not so much "What happened?" (as important as that is for justice) as it is "How did it happen?" and "What can be done to stop this?"

Source: Washington Post, by Op/Ed Contributor Lupita Nyong’o

I have been following the news and reading the accounts of women coming forward to talk about being assaulted by Harvey Weinstein and others. I had shelved my experience with Harvey far in the recesses of my mind, joining in the conspiracy of silence that has allowed this predator to prowl for so many years. I had felt very much alone when these things happened, and I had blamed myself for a lot of it, quite like many of the other women who have shared their stories.

But now that this is being discussed openly, I have not been able to avoid the memories resurfacing. I have felt sick in the pit of my stomach. I have felt such a flare of rage that the experience I recount below was not a unique incident with me, but rather part of a sinister pattern of behavior.

What happened with Harvey Weinstein.

Fortunately for me, I have not dealt with any such incidents in the business since. And I think it is because all the projects I have been a part of have had women in positions of power, along with men who are feminists in their own right who have not abused their power. What I am most interested in now is combating the shame we go through that keeps us isolated and allows for harm to continue to be done. I wish I had known that there were women in the business I could have talked to. I wish I had known that there were ears to hear me. That justice could be served. There is clearly power in numbers. I thank the women who have spoken up and given me the strength to revisit this unfortunate moment in my past.

Our business is complicated because intimacy is part and parcel of our profession; as actors we are paid to do very intimate things in public. That’s why someone can have the audacity to invite you to their home or hotel and you show up. Precisely because of this we must stay vigilant and ensure that the professional intimacy is not abused. I hope we are in a pivotal moment where a sisterhood — and brotherhood of allies — is being formed in our industry. I hope we can form a community where a woman can speak up about abuse and not suffer another abuse by not being believed and instead being ridiculed. That’s why we don’t speak up — for fear of suffering twice, and for fear of being labeled and characterized by our moment of powerlessness. Though we may have endured powerlessness at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, by speaking up, speaking out and speaking together, we regain that power. And we hopefully ensure that this kind of rampant predatory behavior as an accepted feature of our industry dies here and now.

Now that we are speaking, let us never shut up about this kind of thing. I speak up to make certain that this is not the kind of misconduct that deserves a second chance. I speak up to contribute to the end of the conspiracy of silence.

"The Walking Dead" returns Sunday!

"I hope you got your shittin' pants on."

The 5 times Trump went golfing instead of reaching out to families of 4 fallen soldiers

For nearly two weeks, Trump refused to mention the four soldiers killed in Niger. But he did spend nearly 20 hours playing golf.

Source: Shareblue Media, by Eric Boehlert

Only by monumentally screwing up his belated effort to reach out to families of the four U.S. troops killed by ISIS during a raid in Niger has Donald Trump been able to obscure one of the more stunning aspects surrounding his callous behavior: the fact that he went golfing five times before he ever got around to extending any sympathies.

During a nearly two-week window when Trump refused to acknowledge the four deaths, he golfed five times at the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia. He golfed with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). He golfed with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). All told, Trump spent nearly 20 hours on the links.

The deadly Niger raid occurred on Oct. 4. Trump golfed on Oct. 7, 8, 9, 14, and 15. The outings represented the 69th, 70th, 71st, 72nd, and 73rd rounds that Trump has played since being inaugurated. Trump has spent nearly one-fourth of his presidency at golf courses.


Trump was only forced to acknowledge the troops when pressed by journalists about his silence. That’s when he opted to attack President Barack Obama by lying about how the former president handled soldier condolences. Then Trump offended the family of a slain Green Beret with a dismissive phone call on Tuesday.

But really, all you need to know about Trump’s callous mindset was his endless trips to his golf resort. That forever remains his top priority.

Read it all at: https://shareblue.com/the-5-times-trump-went-golfing-instead-of-reaching-out-to-families-of-4-fallen-soldiers/

"Mulligan Man"

"I'm pro-life and I'm voting for Doug Jones anyway."

In Alabama, we're gonna need a Bigger Tent!

Source: al.com, by Matthew Tyson
Matthew Tyson is a writer and blogger from Anniston, Alabama and a Fellow of Democrats for Life of America.

Not too long ago, Doug Jones--the Alabama Democratic candidate for Senate--came down pretty hard in favor of abortion rights.

As a pro-life liberal, it hurt a little. I had hoped he would take a slightly more moderate stance, but at the end of the day, I can't say that I'm shocked. No one should be, actually. He fell right in line with the rest of the national Democrats. And despite my moral and ethical disagreement with Jones on the issue, I'm still going to vote for him in December.


"You must vote for Trump!" they said. "He's the only one who will save the lives of the unborn."

Yet here we are, almost a year into the Trump presidency. There's a GOP majority in both chambers of congress, a freshly appointed conservative justice on the Supreme Court, and we're no closer to outlawing abortion than we were a year ago--or 40 years ago, for that matter. And that's because Republicans were never going to do anything significant about abortion in the first place. It's settled law, and until the rest of the country gets on board with the anti-abortion movement, it's going to remain that way.


Despite what some might think, abortion doesn't happen in a moral vacuum. Women don't terminate pregnancies because they love Satan and hate babies. Many turn to abortion out of desperation. They're worried about their job, they have no support, they have no access to healthcare or childcare, they can't afford a child, or they're worried about their own health.

These are what we call "root causes", and they facilitate a demand for abortion.


Healthcare, childcare, family planning services, support, job security, equal and living wages, and education. These are the things we need to focus on if we want to effectively fight abortion. Do any of them sound like something Roy Moore would support?

You know the answer.


Read it all at: http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/10/im_pro-life_and_im_voting_for.html#incart_river_home

Pro-choice advocate and US Senate Democratic candidate Doug Jones!

The Founding Fathers designed impeachment for someone exactly like Donald Trump

Source: Washington Post, by Barbara Radnofsky

Their writings and debates surrounding the creation of the Constitution make clear that the framers feared a certain kind of character coming to power and usurping the republican ideal of their new nation. Having just defeated a tyrant — “Mad” King George III of England — they carefully crafted rules to remove such a character: impeachment. In the process, they revealed precisely the kind of corrupt, venal, inattentive and impulsive character they were worried about.

The very embodiment of what the Founding Fathers feared is now residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Again and again, they anticipated attributes and behaviors that President Trump exhibits on an all-too-regular basis. By describing “High Crimes and Misdemeanors,” the grounds for impeachment, as any act that poses a significant threat to society — either through incompetence or other misdeeds — the framers made it clear that an official does not have to commit a crime to be subject to impeachment. Instead, they made impeachment a political process, understanding that the true threat to the republic was not criminality but unfitness, that a president who violated the country’s norms and values was as much a threat as one who broke its laws.

Gouverneur Morris, who wrote the Constitution’s preamble, and future president James Madison were worried about a leader who would “pervert his administration into a scheme of peculation” — theft of public funds — “or oppression. He might betray his trust to foreign powers,” as Madison put it. Morris, who like many in the colonies believed King Charles had taken bribes from Louis XIV to support France’s war against the Dutch, declared that without impeachment we “expose ourselves to the danger of seeing the first Magistrate [the President] in foreign pay without being able to guard against it by displacing him.”

Trump’s many ties to Russia spring immediately to mind, of course. What’s provable so far — denying electoral harm perpetrated by Russian actors, hiding his efforts to conduct business in Moscow during his 2016 campaign, leaking state secrets to the Russian ambassador at a White House meeting, numerous contacts between his top staff and family and Russian agents — resonates deeply with this core concern expressed by the Founding Fathers.


Read the rest at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2017/10/15/the-founding-fathers-designed-impeachment-for-someone-exactly-like-donald-trump/

President Trump admits he's trying to kill Obamacare. That's illegal.

Source: CNBC, by Abbe Gluck

Modern American history has never seen as full-scale an effort to sabotage a valid law as we have with President Trump and the Affordable Care Act — a law whose legality has been upheld twice by the US Supreme Court.

The president has a legal obligation, under Article II of the US Constitution, to "take Care that the laws be faithfully executed." That means he must make sure that our laws are implemented in good faith and that he uses his executive discretion reasonably toward that end.

His agencies likewise have a legal obligation, under the Administrative Procedure Act — the statute that sets the rules for our entire federal regulatory apparatus — not to use their power to engage in arbitrary action.

The intentional, multi-pronged sabotage of the ACA that we have seen over the past nine months — reaching new heights since attempts by Congress to repeal the law failed — violates both Trump's constitutional obligations and quite possibly the obligations of his Department of Health and Human Services.


Read the rest at: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/17/president-trump-trying-to-kill-obamacare-illegal-commentary.html

Why big business is not backing Roy Moore

Source: al.com, by John Sharp

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is joining other powerhouse campaign contributors and pro-business interest groups in backing out of the U.S. Senate race in Alabama.

In an email to AL.com Tuesday, Scott Reed, the senior political strategist with the national chamber, said the group plans to "spend the next 60 days working on job growth initiatives and tax reform."

"We have a process for non-incumbent races and plan to follow it in Alabama," Reed said in an email. "A candidates' stated priorities and positions on economic issues have great weight with the U.S.C.C. and the Alabama business community."

Reed criticized the outcome of the race, blaming trial lawyers and low voter turnout for Moore's win.

"The Alabama trial lawyers and the 85 percent of eligible Alabama voters that did not vote gave us Roy Moore," Reed said.

But - and it's a BIG but -

Jess Brown, a retired political science professor at Athens State University, said he could see corporate leaders taking a "dose of Dramamine" and "quietly support Moore without enthusiasm."

"If they think he is really threatened, they will retrieve their checkbooks on his behalf to salvage a Republican vote in D.C.," Brown said.

Read it all at: http://www.al.com/news/mobile/index.ssf/2017/10/why_big_business_is_not_backin.html#incart_river_home

Does "stealing" an election involve some degree of secrecy?

Could we reverse a hacked presidential election?

The Constitution provides no clear answer — and we need a solution.

Source: Vox, by Vinay Nayak and Samuel Breidbart

What would happen if we discovered that Russians hacked into the results of the 2016 presidential election and tipped the outcome in favor of Donald Trump — literally changed the vote totals?


One tool to resolve a hacked election is that old, most vilified institution: the Electoral College. While many see the Electoral College as archaic and inherently undemocratic, the very mechanism that allows electors to deviate from the popular vote may be the simplest way to reverse an undemocratic election result. If notified of the outcome-altering interference in time, the electors could mitigate the damage by selecting a different candidate.


Does a president who unknowingly benefits from illegal hacking commit a high crime or misdemeanor? That’s far from clear. Is a president who is healthy and competent, but illegitimately elected, unfit to discharge the powers and duties of his office? To some degree that’s for Congress for decide, and the Supreme Court might defer to legislators who conclude that a president is unfit to serve. But the answer to that question, too, is ambiguous.


We should act before we find ourselves thrust into a constitutional crisis of historic dimensions. But any solution to this issue — most likely in the form of a constitutional amendment — would require bipartisanship in a time of unprecedented polarization. If recent history is any indicator, the Republican-controlled Congress (and Republican-controlled state legislatures) will be unwilling to work with Democrats to remedy this constitutional defect.

In the meantime, our Constitution leaves us powerless to protect against those waiting for the right moment to subvert our electoral system, assuming they have not already done so.

Read it all at: https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/10/12/16463770/hacked-election-constitution-election


Clemson, Washington State, Auburn: "ROLL TIDE!"

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